Design, Repair, & Installation of Ductless Systems
You’ve heard the terms before: ductless, mini-split, or mounted cooling systems. So what is a ductless air conditioner? You guessed it – no ductwork.
What is a Ductless Mini Split?
What is a ductless mini split and how exactly do they work? A ductless mini split system, in its most basic form, includes one outdoor unit and at least one indoor unit (called air handlers) connected by refrigerant tubing and electrical wiring. The indoor unit is often wall-mounted either high on the wall or at the baseboards, and delivers heated or cooled air directly into the living space – no ductwork needed. This is called a single-zone system although one outdoor unit can have up to four separately controlled zones and it’s designed to provide heating and cooling comfort to specific areas.
Other advantages include: energy efficiency and design versatility. They are do not lose energy through ductwork (up to a 30% savings compared to conventional ductwork in unconditioned spaces). Additionally, they only require a 3″ hole through a wall to run the necessary conduit making designing a ductless mini-split system very flexible for nearly any space. Because there are typically several styles of indoor units available, and because installation only requires a hole in the wall for the wiring and refrigerant line, ductless HVAC systems are among the easiest systems to install.
Ductless Mini-Split Repair
Is your ductless mini-split air conditioner acting up? In many cases, a timely repair can protect your unit from serious damage and keep repair costs low. Here are some things to watch out for:
Unresponsive Ductless Air Conditioner Controls
If a mini-split AC fails to respond when you try to turn it on or off or use the controls, there’s probably an electrical issue or the reversing valve may need replacement.
Unusually High North Carolina Electric Bills
The average lifespan of a ductless AC is 12 to 15 years. HVAC systems lose efficiency with age. In a younger unit, high energy consumption could signal anything from grungy equipment or a clogged air filter to short-cycling or failing parts. Call an HVAC professional when you notice a dramatic change in the cost of your utility bills.
Reduction in Mini-Split AC Cooling Output
A lack of cool air can indicate a refrigerant leak. Once all the refrigerant has drained out of the system, the air handler will simply operate as a fan and nothing more. Refrigerant tends to leak out slowly over time, and the upshot is a gradual decrease in cooling capacity.
Grinding Noise Coming from an Indoor Unit
Grinding noises usually mean that the oiled bearings used to reduce motor friction have worn down. Ignoring the noise could result in the air handler motor overheating and burning out.
Ice Formation on Your Outdoor Unit’s Cooling Coils
Reduced air flow can cause the evaporator coils to freeze over. This could be due to a clogged air filter, a malfunctioning thermostat, a broken fan, a refrigerant leak or a dirty coil. If ignored, the weight of the ice can warp the cooling coil and require a complete coil replacement.
Mini-split AC repair issues require professional intervention. At Barber Heating & Air Refrigeration, we are dedicated to installing, maintaining, and repairing your ductless mini-split in your home. Request a quote today!
Ductless System Replacement
Ductless (mini-split) air conditioners, like all systems, have a natural lifespan. There will come a point when no matter how well you’ve taken care of it, you’ll have to replace your ductless system. What is important is that you recognize the signs that your ductless air conditioner is nearing the end of its lifespan. That way, you can have it replaced before it gives out on you. Let’s take a look at some of the signs that your ductless air conditioner needs to be replaced:
Rising Operating Costs
As a system gets older, the various parts inside it will start to wear out. This causes them to perform less well over time, which in turn causes your system to perform less well as a whole. An older ductless system will have to stay on for a longer period of time to affect the same temperature changes, which will result in higher operating costs. If your cost to operate your ductless system is rising for no apparent reason, you may need to replace it.
Rise in Repair Needs
Healthy ductless air conditioners typically don’t need repairs more than once a year, if that. Older systems, though, have worn-out parts that are far more likely to fail during normal operation. These parts tend to fail in groups, leading to far more frequent repair needs. If you need to have your ductless air conditioner repaired every few months, you definitely need to replace it.
Once a ductless air conditioner gets older than 10 or 15 years, it starts to develop problems like the ones listed above. You can continue using a ductless system that is older than that, but you’ll likely spend far more than the system is work in repairs. Once your system gets that old, you should replace it.
Ductless System Installation
If you are curious about cooling or heating options for your home, ductless, mini split-system air conditioners are one option that we offer for installation. But what are they?
Ductless, mini split-system air-conditioners (mini-splits) have numerous potential applications in residential, commercial, and institutional buildings. The most common applications are in multifamily housing or as retrofit add-ons to houses with “non-ducted” heating systems, such as hydronic (hot water heat), radiant panels, and space heaters (wood, kerosene, propane). They can also be a good choice for room additions and small apartments, where extending or installing distribution ductwork for a central air-conditioner is not feasible. Check out the Energy Saver 101 infographic on home cooling to learn how ductless, mini-split air conditioners stack up against other cooling systems.
Like central systems, mini-splits have two main components: an outdoor compressor/condenser, and an indoor air-handling unit. A conduit, which houses the power cable, refrigerant tubing, suction tubing, and a condensate drain, links the outdoor and indoor units.
Local Ductless System Design, Installation, and Repair from Barber Heating & Air Refrigeration